Takara Tomy, the Japanese toymaker most famous for its transforming toys like Transformers and Diaclone, has lent its knowledge in designing transforming toys to help create a moon robot.

Takara Tomy SORA-Q Lunar Robot
Whoever says a Moon “Rover” needs to be huge?

The tiny robot, called SORA-Q, is jointly developed by Takara Tomy, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Sony, and Doshisha University, and designed to be deployed from the Moon Lander to explore the vast Moon surface.

In its compact form, SORA-Q is a sphere and when it is released from the lander, it transforms into a mobile explorer with two halves of the sphere serving as wheels. It is armed with two cameras – one forward and one rear-facing – to record images on the moon and transmit them back to Earth by the main spacecraft.

Takara Tomy SORA-Q Lunar Robot
Closed and deployed modes.

Unfortunately, it is designed not to return. When it is done with its mission, it will stop and remain on the Moon. Awww. Why do feel sad for this cute little sci-fi guy?

You may not be able to tell but SORA-Q is tiny. Like super tiny and super lightweight. It measures 8 cm (3.15 inches) across and weighs in at a mere 250g (8.8 oz or about 0.6 lbs). To put the size and weight into perspective, it is a little smaller than a baseball and it is a little heavier than an iPhone 13 Pro Max.

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Perhaps from the images you do not have a sense of how sci-fi-ish this robot is but reassure that SORA-Q is one of the most – if not the most – sci-fi-ish creations we have seen of late. Don’t believe? Just have a look at its Japanese intro video embedded below:

Images: Takara Tomy [JP]/Robotstart [JP].

Published by Mike

Avid tech enthusiast, gadget lover, marketing critic and most importantly, love to reason and talk.